When I entered the Brig Bash 5 it was purely because it was local. Why wouldn’t I do a local race? 5 miles on a flat course just a few miles down the road. What’s not to like?
Little did I know it was an actual race. As in competitor standards. It is part of Perth Roadrunners championship. At the moment this means nothing to me but I’m hoping to change that when I get up the courage to join them.
All my ‘issues’ were gone by the day of the race (check precious blog ‘I’ve got issues man) so I was fit enough on the day, no excuses. It was a later start which I’ve never done before so the day was spent pacing up and down resisting the urge to go for a run and thus end up running on tired legs. Sensible hat was on. My husband even reminded me to eat something 2 hours before the start – which I consequently forgot but the thought was there, probably should have set an alarm.
I had planned on wearing my new top which I have fallen in love with and my shorts which now seem surgically attached to me but it was a little too nippy for me so out came my trusty pink Nike top and black capris. I’ve also adopted a headband and lost the pigtails – seems I’m growing up!
We got there early, and by early I mean on time. Quite a shock for us! My eldest even came along too for some fresh air. Let’s not mention the bribe. It very quickly became apparent that this was a very popular event for those affiliated to a club. Almost everyone had a club top on. Kinross, Dundee, Dunfermline – you name it they were there. Vegan runners too. In fact I only counted 3 other tops that were not club tops. I was out of my league. I knew I was going to be back of the pack but it was beginning to look like last of the pack. A few messages from my friends telling me to just shut up and get on with it helped me not dwell on it though. Thanks girls.
There were a few friendly smiles from strangers which was nice and the general feel was exactly that – friendly. It was actually quite comforting. I had set myself a goal of under 40mins and as I waited I realised I would need sub 8min miles. Why I waited until 10 mins before the race to figure that out I don’t know.
Off to the start line and it was a quick start. The finish line was clearly pointed out to us and we were reminded of the earphone rule – not that I saw anyone with them in. The horn went and we were off. As expected I was quickly being overtaken, I had tried to get to the back to start but ended up just squishing in as you do. There was a prize for the first person to hit 1 mile but let’s be honest, I was just happy not to be the last! I checked my watch and I hit it just over 7mins giving me a nice little cushion.
There were loads and loads of marshalls all the way round and they were all cheering you on. It was great! Just before 2 miles I realised I hadn’t eaten enough – again – so I focused on the spread that was laid out for us at the finish. Sandwiches and cakes – that’s going to make me move! By 3 miles I was being passed a lot less and began to wonder just how far back I was. There couldn’t be many behind me now. Focusing back on my 40 minute target I kept pushing. Not long after that I heard the next set of marshalls before I saw them. For once I was glad I didn’t have earphones in, nothing like that kind of encouragement.
On to the last mile and a last check of the watch and I knew I had to keep pushing. On the last stretch I inevitably came across those already finished and heading back to their cars but they were cheering on as well. ‘Go on lass you can catch her’ I heard at least twice and numerous names being shouted. I crossed the line in just over 39mins and collapsed on the pavement. I ran that race. I never really run races. I have a quick start but then settle down and take in the view. Not this time though. If there had been a medal it would have went pride of place on my board, safe in the knowledge I had given it my all!
We didn’t stop for the feast in the end. Joe hadn’t had his tea and my son had been tortured enough coming to watch his mum run yet gain. Without doubt it was a great race and I will most definitely be signing up next year. And hopefully staying for the cakes too!